School Improvement in Maryland

Educator Effectiveness Academy Summer 2011: ELA Activities

We hope that educators find the following powerpoint presentations and activities from the Educator Effectiveness Academies useful in planning professional development activities in the coming months.

Participants will develop an understanding of:

  1. the structure of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts, including the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards, the grade-specific standards, and the appendices.
  2. the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. (Grades 6-12)
  3. the writing types defined in Writing Standards 1, 2, and 3 of the CCSS for English Language Arts & the CCSS for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.
  4. the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum (CCSC) Framework for English Language Arts.

Day 1

Day 1 activities were presented to the entire school team. The overview below gives a brief description and purpose of each of the activities in the hour-long session.

Click here to view power point for Day 1.
Click here to view handouts used in the Day 1 activities.

Educator Effectiveness Academy – Overview of Day 1 for English Language Arts
Description Purpose of this Activity

Activity 1 - Awareness of the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Anchor Standards and the structure of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts (ELA) and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (Literacy)
Posted around the room will be 4 charts representing the 4 strands of the CCSS for ELA: reading, writing, speaking & listening, and language. The posters will be labeled by strand and the clusters within the strand. Each participant will receive a sentence strip containing one of the CCR Anchor Standards. He or she will identify the CCR Anchor Standard by strand and cluster and then place the sentence strip on the correct chart.

  • To introduce school teams to the general structure of the CCSS for ELA and Literacy
  • To introduce school teams to a unique feature of the CCSS for ELA and Literacy: the CCR Anchor Standards

Activity 2 – Awareness of the increasing rigor of the CCSS for ELA
Individuals will receive a handout that shows Reading Literature Standard 1 from kindergarten through grades 11-12. After modeling by the Master Teacher, participants will trace the increasing level of rigor and cognitive demand by identifying key words and phrases across the grades.

  • To introduce school teams to the increasing level of rigor of the CCSS for ELA
  • To encourage discussion among school teams about the instructional implications of the increasing level of rigor of the CCSS for ELA

Activity 3 - Awareness of the CCSS for Writing
Following discussion of the three types of writing (W1 opinion/argument, W2 informative/explanatory, and W3 narrative) found in the CCSS for ELA, each participant will receive a handout containing an annotated writing sample from Appendix C of the CCSS, an informative piece from grade 5 for elementary school teams, an argument from grade 6 for middle school teams, and an argument from grade 12 for high school teams. Participants will be asked to align the annotations to the CCSS for ELA.

  • To introduce school teams to the three types of writing (W1 opinion/argument, W2 informative/explanatory, and W3 narrative) found in the CCSS for ELA and Literacy
  • To introduce school teams to the CCSS expectations for writing
  • To introduce school teams to the resources of the appendices that accompany the CCSS for ELA and Literacy

Day 2

Day 2 activities were delivered in 4 one-hour sessions. These sessions were targeted to the ELA experts and their principals. The focus of Day 2 was writing. The overview below gives a brief description and purpose of each of the seven activities that comprised Day 2.

Click here to view the elementary power point for Day 2.
Click here to view the secondary power point for Day 2.
Click here to view the elementary handouts used in the Day 2 activities.
Click here to view the middle school handouts used in the Day 2 activities.
Click here to view the high school handouts used in the Day 2 activities.

Educator Effectiveness Academy – Overview of Day 2 for English Language Arts
Description Purpose of this Activity

Day 2, Session 1 - Awareness of the “Capacities of a Literate Individual” as defines by the CCSS for ELA and Literacy
Table groups will complete a Word Map to explore their ideas about literacy. The Master Teacher will facilitate a large-group sharing of ideas and then instruct each table group to compose its own definition of literacy. The Master Teacher will then share thoughts about literacy from a variety of cultural and professional sources and then give table groups time to modify their definitions. Next, the Master Teacher will share the “Capacities of a Literate Individual” from page 7 of the CCSS for ELA and Literacy and facilitate a discussion of them. Finally, table groups will discuss implications of the “Capacities of a Literate Individual” for literacy instruction in their schools.

  • To introduce ELA teachers to the "Capacities of a Literate Individual" as defined by the CCSS for ELA and Literacy
  • To encourage ELA teachers to consider the implications of the "Capacities of a Literate Individual" for instruction

Day 2, Session 2 - Introduction of the Frameworks
After a short background piece on the development of the frameworks, the MT will orient the participants on the major components of the ELA frameworks (Writing 1 – in appropriate grade bands). Introduction of the framework feedback charts will be made. Participants will freely place post-it note comments on two charts as the frameworks are introduced. One chart will collect suggestions for additions to the frameworks and the other will collect ideas for toolkit items and intervention modules.

  • To introduce the structure and organization of the ELA Frameworks
  • To provide a system for the collection of framework feedback

Day 2, Session 2 - Review of Writing Anchor Standards
Grade-level groups will be divided into smaller groups. Each small group will spend time examining a minimum of 3 Anchor Standards for writing. The group’s recorder will summarize their ideas and the reporter will share them with the larger group.

  • To understand the language of the CCR anchor standards for writing
  • To evaluate the expectation and level of rigor of the writing standards
  • To determine the instructional implications for teaching students the skills they will need to meet the demands of the standards

Day 2, Sessions 2 & 3 - Completion of a Performance Task
Within a large grade-level group, participants will read an assigned text that corresponds to the grade level that they teach and complete a writing performance task in response to that text. A small group discussion will follow the completion of the task where participants will be expected to consider the instructional implications associated with the performance task and the increase in rigor when compared to the current state standards.

  • To gain authentic experience with the demands that their students will have placed upon them when writing to source
  • To acknowledge the use of CCSS Appendix B as a resource for model performance tasks for writing to source

Day 2, Sessions 2 & 3 - Review Specific Writing Standards across Grade Levels
As a large grade-level group, participants will review and reflect on the increased skill demands of the individual writing standards as they progress from one grade level to the next.
In a 3-2-1 reflection, individual participants will record what they determined to be significant, what they need to explore further, and what they will discuss with their school team.

  • To examine the writing standards across the grades
  • To reflect on current classroom practice in the scope of the cross grade standards

Day 2, Session 4 –Overview of Writing Types
Teacher-led discussion on the three types of writing—argument, informative, and narrative. Participants will delve into the characteristics of all three types of writing, but will delve deeper into argument and how it differs from persuasion. They will also examine how the writing of argument looks in ELA, Social Studies/History, Science, and with younger students.

  • To review the three types of writing in the Common Core State Standards
  • To develop an understanding of the special place of argument in the CCSS
  • To develop an understanding of the writing of argument and how it differs from persuasion
  • To develop an understanding of how the writing of argument looks across disciplines
  • To develop an understanding of the characteristics of informative and narrative writing
  • To develop an understanding of the way writing is linked to text in the CCSS

Day 2, Session 4 – A Close Look at the Writing Samples
Participants will work in partners to review an annotated sample from Appendix C for argument or informative writing to use as a model. Partners will be provided with a new sample for argument, informative, or narrative writing. They will annotate the text using the previous sample as a model.
Groups will discuss the annotations and instructional implications.

  • To provide models of argument, informative, and narrative writing on various grade levels.
  • To develop an understanding of the way writing is evaluated based upon the CCSS.

Day 3

Day 3 activities were delivered in 3 one-hour sessions. These sessions were targeted to the ELA experts and their principals. The focus of Day 3 was Reading, Speaking & Listening and Language. The content in the second part of session 2 was differentiated for grades pre-k-5 and grades 6-12. Both versions are noted in the overview chart below.

Click here to view the elementary power point for Day 3.
Click here to view the secondary power point for Day 3.
Click here to view the elementary handouts used in the Day 3 activities.
Click here to view the middle school handouts used in the Day 3 activities.
Click here to view the high school handouts used in the Day 3 activities.

Educator Effectiveness Academy – Overview of Day 3 for English Language Arts
Description Purpose of this Activity

Day 3, Session 1 – A Close Look at the College and Career Anchor Standards for Reading and Sample Performance Activities
Participants will work in groups to examine the College and Career Anchor Standards for Reading and some Sample Performance Activities. Groups will examine where the Sample Performance Activities fit into the Frameworks for Reading.

  • To develop an understanding of the Reading Anchor Standards
  • To provide a familiarity with Sample Performance Tasks from Appendix B and where they fit into the CCSS and the Frameworks
  • To develop an appreciation of the level of rigor in reading in the CCSS

Day 3, Session 1 – A Close Look at the Framework for Reading
Groups will take a closer look at the Frameworks for Reading. They will share observations and instructional implications through a gallery walk. They will rank the instructional implications that they feel will have the most impact on instruction.

  • To develop an understanding of the Framework for Reading
  • To analyze the Framework for Reading in terms of instructional implications

Day 3, Session 2 – Text Complexity
Teacher-led discussion on text complexity, Lexile scores, and the three measures of text complexity in the CCSS. Groups will use a chart with criteria for text complexity to complete one of three tasks: brainstorming instructional strategies; brainstorming differentiation strategies; or examining sample texts for simple or complex text complexity

  • To develop an understanding of text complexity and its role in the CCSS
  • To provide criteria for determining text complexity
  • To develop instructional strategies for text complexity
  • To develop differentiation strategies for text complexity

Day 3, Session 2 – Secondary
Literacy in History/ Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects Middle and high school participants will work in groups to compare and contrast the ELA Standards for Reading and Writing with the Literacy Standards for Reading and Writing. They will examine a specific writing sample from Appendix B in order to determine the role of content teachers in the instruction of literacy.

Secondary:
  • To develop an understanding of the difference between the ELA Standards for Reading and the Literacy Standards for Reading
  • To create an awareness and understanding of the role of content teacher in the instruction of literacy

Day 3, Session 2 – Elementary: Pre-K –Grade 5 Foundational Skills
1. Overview Foundational Skills Teacher led discussion of an overview of the Foundational Skills. Participants will work in groups to look at the individual elements of Foundational Skills (1. Print Concepts, 2. Phonological Awareness, 3.Phonics and 4.Word Recognition and Fluency) in order to compare them to what was covered in the previous curriculum. Teacher-led discussion of the essential understandings of Foundational Skills and how these skills should be taught (integrated with other content areas)

Elementary:
  • To develop an understanding of the Common Core State Standards for Reading Foundational Skills Pre K-Grade 5
  • To develop and understanding and give feedback on the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum Frameworks Pre K-Grade 5
  • Begin to explore how Foundational Skills should be taught.

Day 3, Session 3 - Minute to Win It! Review Activity
This activity uses a game show format to enable principals joining the session to get an overview of the previous session. Contestants will be given game cards containing key phrases from the previous session. Each contestant will have one minute to elaborate and give details on the topic.

  • To provide transition for the principals joining the group
  • To review Text Complexity and the Reading strand of the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum Framework

Day 3, Session 3 - Capabilities vs. Expectations!
Speaking and Listening Standards

Participants will work in small groups to discuss and chart key ideas regarding the speaking and listening capabilities of students they work with. Following an examination of the Framework, group recorders will chart key points on half of the same chart. Sharing will involve similarities, differences, and instructional implications.

  • To discuss and chart current speaking and listening capabilities of students in specific grades and the expectations of the Common Core State Standards.
  • To examine the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum Framework for Speaking and Listening.
  • To identify instructional implications of the Speaking and Listening Standards.
  • To receive feedback on the Framework document.

Day 3, Session 3 - Grade Level Jigsaw! Language Standards
Participants will guess the grade level for randomly selected Language Standards. After counting off and examining the Language standards in a jigsaw, sharing will include placing post-its of key ideas on grade level charts.

  • To identify the appropriate grade level for randomly selected Language Standards.
  • To examine the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum Framework for Language in grade level groups.
  • To receive feedback on the Framework document.

Activity 17 - Grade Level Jigsaw! Language Standards
Participants will guess the grade level for randomly selected Language Standards. After counting off and examining the Language standards in a jigsaw, sharing will include placing post-its of key ideas on grade level charts.

  • To identify the appropriate grade level for randomly selected Language Standards.
  • To examine the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum Framework for Language in grade level groups.
  • To receive feedback on the Framework document.